About Us


Gulf Coast School for Autism was founded in 2012 by Katrin Patterson. Our school’s primary funding comes from the John M. McKay Scholarship. Katrin established the school in order to serve children with Autism, Asperger’s, Down Syndrome, and related disabilities. She believes the most crucial “puzzle piece” is communication, which is what our school strives for everyday. Our school focuses strongly on social, cognitive, sensory, and motor development. We use total communication in order to attain communication from the students. This communication includes verbal, sign language, and technology, such as the computer, and iPad’s. We also use the principal of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is the systematic study of variables that influence behavior. This analysis has an aim of addressing socially important issues such as behavior problems and learning. ABA based procedures reduce problem behaviors and increases appropriate skills for individuals with Autism and related disabilities. ABA-based approaches for educating children with autism and related disorders have been extensively researched and empirically supported (e.g., Howard, Sparkman, Choen, Green, & Stanislaw, 2005; Koegel, Koegel, & Harrower, 1999; Krantz & McClannahan, 1998; Lovaas,1987; McGee, Morrier, & Daly, 1999; Strain & Kohler, 1998). To modify the behaviors, we use Discrete Trial.  A discrete trial is defined as a set of acts that includes a stimulus or antecedent, a behavior, and a consequence.


*Gulf Coast School for Autism admits students of any race, color, national origin and ethnic origin to all the rights, privelages, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.